This is an urgent post and one which requires your immediate attention. I have had complaints about the Labour leadership campaign. Some people have described the last tedious weeks as akin to a shy ostrich marooned in an unfriendly space with its head in the sand. I do not think this is entirely apposite. These 5 candidates are not shy and withdrawing: they are loud and demonstrative. But I get the point. They cannot work out what has become of them and prefer to seek solace in the past. However, it will be obvious that if you stick your head in the ground you see nothing at all. Competition brings specialisation: you have the expert nerd with a LOT of experience, the assertive younger son with a specialisation in opposites, the man of the North and hence of the PEOPLE, the bluff man of commonsense with a gift for figures, and a portly, posh black women, who in all her lengthy parliamentary experience has never made it even to the humble position of PPS but now fancies herself as PM. These 5 have in much in common: they are all Oxbridge graduates, they dress and speak well (in this they clearly have much in common with Nick and Dave), you could bring any of them home to tea and mum would approve. As far as I can gather none of them have had a ‘real’ job. They are not educated in the university of ‘hard knocks’ and what adversity they have suffered since UNI has been of their own making.
So what, you might say. All this cleverness and lack of sweat is what we expect of our political leaders now. Well, yes. But I draw your attention to what has happened since the General Election. In effect Labour has been leaderless although Hariet Harman did us all a favour by revealing our Dave’s lack of attention to detail and the nature of his bullying. She is on holiday now, Parliament is in recess, the sun shines, production rises, we no longer witness shouting and ranting, no more unnecessary laws are hitting the statute books. People could be happy. Over this period of repose and relaxation Labour’s standing with the electorate has risen in the opinion polls and in the natural course of events (and without a leader) will overtake the Tories. Some readers have an instinctive understanding of the true political position of the Labour Party.Let the Coalition commit hara-kiri with its programme of cuts, and say tut tut without a single cross word or the proposal of any troublesome alternatives. Coalition MPs will fall about arguing with each other. Why then disturb people with the election of a troublesome busy-busy Leader of the Opposition?
We could ask Harriet to shoulder on. It is her duty. I do not know who was writing her scripts but whoever it was Harriet should stay friendly with him/her. Roll on laughter, goodness and friendly behaviour and DOWN with scandal, slogans, and ill intent. And can it be kept going, month after month, year after year? Can we usher in a decade of happiness? Our only hope, say correspondents, if we cannot stop this unnecessary and unhelpful election, is to leave the voting paper on the mantelpiece. Let us proclaim our belief, not in more or less government, but good government, good-sense, and toleration. It is our only hope.